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UP Polls: Congress Releases First List Of 73 Candidates

PTI 22 Aug 2011, 15:59:36 IST

New Delhi, Aug 22 : Union Minister Salman Khurshid's wife Louis Khurshid, PCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and CLP leader Pramod Tiwari figure in first list of 73 candidates announced by Congress for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections early next year.

Louis has been fielded from Farrukhabad Assembly seat, which is a segment of the Lok Sabha constituency represented by her husband.

Joshi, who had lost the Lok Sabha election from Lucknow to BJP's Kalraj Mishra, has been fielded from Lucknow Cantt Assembly seat, while CLP leader Pramod Tiwari will contest again from his Rampur Khas Assembly constituency.  Congress MP Sanjya Singh's wife Amita and another party MP Praveen Singh Aron's wife Supriya, a journalist-turned politician, will contest from Amethi and Bareilly Cantt seats respectively.

The list of candidates were finalised by the Congress Election Committee here last Tuesday. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC General Secretaries Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh, besides the PCC chief and the CLP leader of the state.

It is for the first time that the party has come out with names of candidates for any state election so early. Elections for 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh have to be concluded by May next year.

This is apparently to give candidates more time to prepare and also check any rebellion well in time, party sources said.  Congress led by Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh is working hard for revival of the party's fortunes in the state where it has been out of power for more than two decades.  Party sources said in Lucknow that all sitting MLAs have been given tickets.

Besides, those who had contested the last Lok Sabha elections and had put up an impressive show, like S P Goyal from Ghaziabad and Chaudhary Brijendra Singh from Atrauli (Aligarh), too have been fielded by the party.  Sampat Pal, a women rights activist leading “Gulabi Gang” in the backward Bundelkhand region of the state, has been given ticket from Manikpur.

The second list is expected in the first week of September, they added. PTI